Pizza, an immediate crowd pleaser and go-to meal that’ll please any palate. Like any other city, Richmond has a plethora of pizzerias and casual Italian eateries. Anthony’s on the Hill, a [somewhat] newbie to the RVA pizza family, opened its doors last October and claimed recognition by making it on Richmond’s Best New Restaurants of 2013 list.
Nestled in a corner store front building in Church Hill, Anthony’s is cute and traditional. The drive to get there made me (yet again) realize why I cherish the up and down topography of this historic part of the city. A mini San Fran … I suppose.
Anthony’s interior is casual and definitely reeks of a neighborhood-y feel with a low key atmosphere. Most of the folks that breezed into Anthony’s was there to pick up pizza or pasta from the to-go counter that backs up to a large open kitchen.
While waiting for the ladies room, I was disappointed to stand next to hallway shelf that housed a big econo-size Kraft ranch dressing and Kirkland Olive Oil. I’m not hating (apparently Kirkland olive oil has stellar reviews and a solid fan base) but I’d rather not see the same ingredients that I can grab at Costco nonetheless Kraft ranch. Ew.
I prefer the illusion that their olive oil is imported and the ranch is hand made with love.
Although I might have given eye rolls to my girlfriend when she ordered the fried mozzarella ($7), I was astonished to see something unfamiliar arrive on the plate, real fried mozzarella. Tragic how we’re conditioned to expect fried mozzarella to be elongated, overly breaded blocks of thawed cheese fried up to a rubber consistency. Instead, Anthony serves up fresh mozzarella lightly coated with crispy seasoned breadcrumbs and house made marinara that’s packed with spices and herbs you wont find in a jar.
We couldn’t commit to one meal each so we happily split the meat lovers pizza ($18) and the Eggplant Parmesan ($12). The pizza was fantastic and complemented my frosty Fat Tire ale in the most harmonious way. The crust was crisp and doughy in all the right parts and the salty prosciutto, sausage, pepperoni, cheese and tomato sauce were all perfectly proportioned. The eggplant was alright, nothing that blew me out of the water except the hearty tomato sauce – much like the marinara, it was full of garden fresh flavor.
A group of women at the table next to us seemed to adore their white pizza with arugula ($17.50) – just by looking at it, I could see why. Fresh arugula was generously scattered over warm ricotta and mozzarella. This is something to definitely try next time.
We skipped dessert but I did notice they serve Gelati Celesti.
It’d be awesome to live in this quaint nook of Richmond and have a local non-chain pizza joint within blocks. For me, I’ll be happy to make the trip to Anthony’s to enjoy a fresh pizza and mellow atmosphere. Next time, I might try getting this to-go and make a picnic at local Libby Hill Park before the hot and humid summer sets in.